COMMITTEE EMERGES IN BELARUS TO PROMOTE PAN-SLAVISM. Syarhey Kastsyan, a member of Belarus's Chamber of Representatives, told Belapan on 8 August that the newly created Slavic Committee will promote a political and economic union of Slavic nations. Kastsyan, who chairs the committee, added that his organization unites those who want Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia to form one state. In his opinion, the committee is the successor of the All-Russian Slavic Committee that existed in the USSR from 1937-1953. As soon as the committee is registered by the Justice Ministry, it plans to take part in preparing the Eighth Pan-Slavic Congress, which is scheduled to open in either Minsk or Moscow on 2 April 2001, the Day of Belarusian-Russian Unity. JM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SIGNS UKRTELEKOM PRIVATIZATION BILL. Leonid Kuchma on 8 August signed the long-debated bill on the privatization of Ukraine's telecommunications giant Ukrtelekom, Interfax reported. The parliament approved the bill last month. The bill calls for the government to keep a controlling 50 percent plus one share stake and auction off at least 25 percent of the company's shares. The State Property Fund estimates that the budget may obtain $548 million from Ukrtelekom's privatization. Ukrtelekom's gross revenue in 1998 was 2.4 billion hryvni ($440 million at the current exchange rate). JM

WORLD BANK PROJECTS IN UKRAINE MAY AMOUNT TO $1.9 BILLION. Dusan Vujovic, head of the World Bank's mission in Ukraine, has said the total portfolio of projects developed under the bank's new strategy for Ukraine may amount to $1.9 billion over three years, Interfax reported on 7 August. Vujovic noted that the bank's key program in Ukraine may be a threeyear loan of some $750 million, provided that Kyiv continues its reformist course and resumes cooperation with the IMF. According to Vujovic, the loan is intended to support the government in implementing reforms and fulfilling its program, which was approved by the parliament in April. JM

POLAND TO REPRESENT NATO IN UKRAINE. The Foreign Ministry announced on 8 August that Poland will become the coordinator of NATO activities in Ukraine as of September, PAP reported. The ministry noted that it is the first time Poland has been given the role running a NATO embassy in a foreign country. The basic functions of such an assignment is to promote NATO and disseminate information on the pact in the host country, to help establish contacts between NATO representatives and institutions of the host country, and to stage conferences on Euro-Atlantic security. JM

MOLDOVA, TURKEY TO FOSTER MILITARY TIES. Visiting Turkish Defense Minster Sabahattin Cakmakoglu and Moldovan Minister of Industry and Trade Ion Lesan on 8 August signed an agreement on collaboration in the munitions industry, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. The agreement also stipulates that the sides will set up a joint committee that will establish priorities for military collaboration between them. Infotag reports that Ankara is showing an interest in cooperation with the Moldovan military industry, most of which is now idle. Moldovan Defense Minister Boris Gamurari, who attended the signing ceremony, said that during his twoday talks with Cakmakoglu it was agreed to hold joint military exercises with the possible participation of Ukraine and Romania. Cakmakoglu was also received by Premier Dumitru Braghis. MS